A garage clear out, a night of insomnia, and a creative itch that needed to be scratched led me to the intoxicating world of fused glass in 2014.
I emigrated to New Zealand from Scotland in 2002, attracted by the lifestyle, climate and landscape. I still find myself stunned by the beauty around me, from the vast expansive landscapes and seascapes, to the smallest details in pebbles, shells, feathers and ferns. It is this organic, natural essence of New Zealand that I aim to capture in my work.
One of the most exciting things about working with glass is that it involves a mix of art and science. Once I’ve designed, cut and assembled a piece it is fired in a kiln. Glass begins to soften and transform at around 600 degrees centigrade, gradually changing in viscosity until it becomes molten like runny honey at 900 degrees. The firing temperature therefore plays a key part in defining the look and texture of the finished piece, so it is very much a collaboration between myself, the glass and the kilns, often with surprising results.
Sheet glass acts as a “canvas” for most projects, with the addition of glass powders, crushed glass and enamel paints to create texture, depth and interest. Organic materials such as ferns, feathers, mica and pure silver foil also often feature in my work. I use a wide range of techniques - some require great precision and others are more fluid and organic in their application. The challenge for me lies in choosing, testing and refining the most appropriate materials, techniques and firing schedules to bring each idea to life.